A man previously convicted of murder for setting a fire that caused multiple deaths, now stands to collect a multi-million dollar payout arising out his prosecution and conviction. Madison Hobley was initially charged with setting a 1987 fire the killed seven people – including his wife and young son. He was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to death. Hobley spent 13 of the next 16 years on Death Row. All the while Hobley claimed he had been tortured by Jon Burge and other Chicago Police Officers. In 2003, Hobley was pardoned by former Governor George Ryan . Hobley then sued the City for the prosecution and imprisonment. That lawsuit was settled for 1 million dollars. In addition, the City agreed to pay another $6.5 million if Hobley wasn’t indicted again for the crime by January 3, 2009.
The FBI and federal prosecutors re-opened the case in 2007. The agents obtained police department records and interviewed several of Hobley’s relatives. In addition, Hobley spoke with investigators and prosecutors for several hours. The decision was made not to re-indict Hobley.
Under the terms of the previous settlement, the City had 60 days to pay Hobley, who has since relocated to North Carolina. A spokesman for the City of Chicago indicated that the payment process has already been started.